Down to the Wire, by Tyler Smith
It may sound silly, but I really expected this year to be different. After four seasons of Emmy snubbing of The Wire, one of the best shows ever produced, I really thought that they’d wait until the fifth and final season to make things right. Mind you, I didn’t even expect it to win. I merely expected a couple of major nominations. But, of course, it was not to be. Why reward the gritty, expectation-shattering realism of The Wire when you can throw more kudos in the direction of Bostom Legal? Why single out the heartbreaking work of Michael K. Williams’ performance as Omar Little or Clarke Peters’ smooth, calculated Lester Freamon when you can celebrate the sheer ridiculousness of Shatner’s Denny Crane? And Sonja Sohn’s Kima Greggs? Nothing compared to the ladies of Grey’s Anatomy!
I understand that nominating committees can’t pick everything, and that mistakes will invariably be made, but to consistently deny what was frequently called the best show on television by major TV critics displays an almost willful ignorance of anything that struggles to be different or challenging. As much as I rail against the Oscars, I feel like the Emmys are much, much worse. I mean, hey, at least the Oscars had the good sense to recognize the unconventional brilliance of No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood, right?
Oh well. Perhaps the lack of Emmy status will keep The Wire what it always has been: a largely-unknown gem waiting to be discovered by unsuspecting viewers wanting something different. And for those willing to take the risk and put in the time, The Wire will pay off in spades. It will change the way you view the country, the criminal element, maybe even humanity in general. Maybe something this good deserves to be found, rather than trumpeted.